Monday, March 28, 2011

Best Corp Ever

So, I have started my own corp. A lot of veteran players would probably advice against it, but I think I know what I am doing.

My life outside the pod is filled with family and kids in a small apartment. There is no room for voice comms and I might have to log off mid warp to go and comfort a crying kid. And I really like chatting to my wife while gaming, so ... I’m not the guy you want in huge fleet, and maybe not in a small gang either.

So I fly solo, and I am convinced there must be others out there that plays this game the way I do. So why not team up? Not fleet up, but team up! There’s a lot that can be achieved by working together as a corp even though we are not flying together.

It has been interesting starting the recruitment process. Recruiting really turns the life in New Eden into one interesting social experiment with flying spaceships as a added bonus. So far I’ve had one trolling old vet in The Overheated Hot Tub public channel and one response on my application form saying “worst corp ever”. But also: One new member!

It is actually going just as I predicted: Very slow recruitment – we are after all a niche corp – and we are receiving some smack for being different. Welcome to New Eden. But I have no hairy goal to make Overheated Hotheads the most awesome corp ever and I am in no hurry. We are just small time criminals, and we are free!

Fly solo!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Honour & Spacefame

Am I an honourable capsuleer in New Eden? Not really. I pop pods when I want and can, I steal and loot all I can and I manipulate fresh young pilots to attack my flashy red ship on gates. I even make fun of capsuleers shedding tears in my ransom channel, citing the well established fictitious missing mining permit as the reason for why their mining cruiser was destroyed.

So I have little honour. Except I keep my promise when I offer a ransom. But that’s about it.

So I’m gonna shed some tears myself toady, as I’ve just experienced my 15 minutes of space-fame over at Rixx JavixEVOGANDA blog. It seems I was the only one “pinned down” by the awesome hunters of Lucifer’s Hammer as “everyone ran away” from them.

Well, here is the story from inside this very Rifter: I was looking for a fight. Flying solo can sometimes be boring when no targets are around, so I went to one of the places you might find other solo roamers in frigates. Good old Old Man Star. And yes, there we had a Rifter on scan. But local was filled with capsuleers of all kind of experience level, so I needed to get a visual on the ship before I would decide on whether to engage it. The pilot turned out to be quite a bit older than me, but I’ve taken down Rifters piloted by capsuleers of that experience level before and decided that this could turn out to be quite an exciting duel after all. You know, the ones were you both enter hull and even the winner has to run away with a tail of smoke between his legs. So, after a bit of jumping in and out of a few belts, always landing too far away and the other pilot warping off, he opens up a private communication channel and lets me know that he is on a planet. Now, I do not often accept such planned fights, because it takes away some of the excitement. But as said before: I wanted a fight. So I gave him a smile as I warped in on his location.

I was doomed. His shield fitted Rifter was holding up very well as my own shields quickly melted. Now, I was prepared to die, as always, and started overloading my pods navigation system to warp out in order to save my capsule. But just as the hull of my rifter starts cracking up, my overview lights up with a visit fr2om a pilot with a certain spacefame: Rixx Javix, the author of EVOGANDA and a capsuleer very much concerned with “style”.

Well, this certainly was stylish: Here I was, obviously loosing a Rifter duel, already spamming warp, reconciled with my loss, then Rixx Javix comes along (Hammer Time!) and scores the final blow. Did he order his corp mate to stand down and let the CEO get the kill? Stylish. Very stylish.

So, I hereby offer these tears to you, Rixx. Swallow them and enjoy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Two Incredible Hulks

Back in my the days, when I started my path of crime, I had a favourite high security system for my criminal activities: Allamotte. Plenty of miners were attracted to the vast selection of asteroid belts sporting quite big rocks for a CONCORD-protected system. And where there are a lot of miners, you will also find certain careless miners loading their valuable ore into disposable jettisoned containers - much to the delight of my rather cheap Iteron III. And those miners usually got pretty angry when I stole their last few hours of work, so I often had to swap the Iteron for a Rifter in order to deal with their aggression. So much for non-violent crime.

Well, I miss the miners in Allamotte. They provided for me - both in terms of ISK and aggression - but out here in the harsh wastelands that makes up low security space - I have no one that gives me cash for little effort.

In low security space you find a different breed of miners: Usually the inexperienced capsuleer in his mining cruiser wondering why I attacked him: “I was just mining?!”. Then you have the more experienced out prospecting with cheap frigates and scanners. Then there are the daredevils who bring out a Retriever or a Covetor knowing the risk, but keeping the cost of a loss low. Most of them have met my guns and a demand of some ISK transferred in exchange for their ship. You would think that these economical oriented capsuleers would do the math and pay up, but no, the miners in these vessels are usually very, very bitter and angry that you attacked and they will explode and pay for a new ship instead of saving a few millions on paying ransom.

I guess it’s sort of doing the maths anyway: The amount saved by paying ransom for a Retriever or cruiser class ship is only a few millions. And this is probably a fair price for not letting me get the satisfaction of getting their ISK. Now, a Hulk would be a whole different game.

So, the first time I ever saw a Hulk in low sec on my 360 degrees directional scanner, my wallet got high expectations. This is a ship that can provide a ransom of 100 mill ISK, or more, and at the same time offer the miner a substantial saving when compared to loosing his ship. This time I was in a low sec pocket and I feared that the Hulk was just passing through, already in warp to the gate. Oh boy, was I wrong: He was happily mining all alone at the top belt! My Rifter made i quickly through shield and armour and a ransom of 100 million ISK was offered. But the answer was no. Apparently he had spent his last ISK on this ship. So it all ended in a big explosion and a frozen corpse was added to my collection. A sad ending for a huge pile of ISK.

Now the second time I saw a Hulk in low security space, was just a few days ago. This time in another pocket and I had the same fear that it was just moving through. Thankfully I was wrong again! I had 15 belts on 360 degree scan and I had to start scanning each and every one of them. Luck was on my side: On the second belt i scanned I found the Hulk. I could already see my wallet blinking. However, there were two other pilots in the system, and I smelled a trap.

After just a few volleys (I had just had the time to make sure I had him scrambled, that I had not started overheating any modules by a mistake and just generally trying to calm down) the Hulk pilot opened up a private communication channel and uttered the this beautiful sentence: “I’ll pay!” Now here we had a willing customer, finally! The adrenaline, and maybe the fear of interfering capsuleers, pushed aside the fact that I knew the prices of Hulks have risen lately and I offered the standard rate: 100 million ISK. My wallet blinked! I instantly regretted not saying 130 or maybe even 150. But then again, I recalled some early theory lessons on piracy and ransom: Never increase or regret the offered ransom.

And I had to remember: I had just made a lot more ISK than I lost the last month!